50 Years of Documentation: A Brief History of the Audiovisual Documentation of the Israeli Occupation
The post-1967 Israeli Occupation has been heavily documented since its inception. Viewing the thousands of news reports, documentaries and online videos about this subject, one might wonder: What has all this documentation achieved? What has been the documentation’s role in this tragic piece of history? What has been the relationship between the audiovisual documentation of the Israeli Occupation and the reality it claims to portray? This chapter chooses one place in the terrain of the Occupation, the city of Hebron/Al-Khalil, and embarks on a journey over time, evoking archive footage of different media formats which were all shot in the occupied city over the last half a century. This journey allows for both reflections on the transformation of the city as well as a wider inquiry about the role that documentation practices play in shaping historical, political, and social issues.
I would like to thank the dozens of filmmakers, journalists and citizen journalists whose work is the foundation of this chapter. I would like to thank the IBA Archives, Herzelia Archives, B’tzelem Archives, Anat Even and Micha X. Peled for allowing me access to their work. I also wish to thank the Center for Curiosity and the School for Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania for their support of this research. I wish to thank Orit Fooks for her assistance with the research and to my friend Michael Zupraner, to whom this work is dedicated, for his inspiration.